China didn't warn the public for SIX KEY DAYS after realising they were facing a coronavirus pandemic, investigation reveals (16 Pics)

Chinese leaders covered up their knowledge of a possible coronavirus pandemic for six days after realising the grim situation, it has been revealed. 
Beijing's top officials secretly determined that they were likely dealing with a major health crisis on January 14, evidence suggested, but President Xi only warned the public of the emergency on January 20.  
Thousands of people were believed to contract the deadly disease during the six days in mid-January when the government kept the information from them. 
The news comes as a former head of MI6 said today that Beijing concealed coronavirus from the West and is 'evading' blame for the pandemic.

It also comes as China warned it has 'serious concerns' after Donald Trump suspended all US funding to the World Health Organization (WHO) for what he called 'its role in severely mismanaging the spread of coronavirus'. 
Britain also responded, saying it would not follow President Trump's example, and would continue to contribute to the WHO.
Top Chinese officials secretly determined they were likely facing a pandemic from a novel coronavirus in mid-January, it has been revealed. Chinese President Xi is pictured talking by video with patients and medics at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on March 1
Top Chinese officials secretly determined they were likely facing a pandemic from a novel coronavirus in mid-January, it has been revealed. Chinese President Xi is pictured talking by video with patients and medics at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on March 1
Thousands of people were believed to contract the deadly disease during the six days in mid-January when the government kept the information from them. Patients are pictured resting at a temporary hospital at Tazihu Gymnasium in Wuhan in central China's Hubei on February 21
Thousands of people were believed to contract the deadly disease during the six days in mid-January when the government kept the information from them. Patients are pictured resting at a temporary hospital at Tazihu Gymnasium in Wuhan in central China's Hubei on February 21

During the six days, Wuhan, where the outbreak first emerged in December, hosted a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people.
Meanwhile, millions began travelling through the transport hub situated in central China for Lunar New Year celebrations.
President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, January 20. 
But by then, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence, according to internal documents obtained by The Associated Press and estimates based on retrospective infection data.
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 130,000 lives and infected over two million
The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 130,000 lives and infected over two million
A picture released by Hubei's Chutian Urban Daily shows residents at Wuhan's Baibuting community gathering for a huge banquet on January 18. The event reportedly invited more than 40,000 families to welcome the Lunar New Year days before the city went into lockdown
A picture released by Hubei's Chutian Urban Daily shows residents at Wuhan's Baibuting community gathering for a huge banquet on January 18. The event reportedly invited more than 40,000 families to welcome the Lunar New Year days before the city went into lockdown
The delay from January 14 to January 20 was neither the first mistake made by Chinese officials at all levels in confronting the outbreak, nor the longest lag, as governments around the world have dragged their feet for weeks and even months in addressing the virus.
But the delay by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time - the beginning of the outbreak. 
China's attempt to walk a line between alerting the public and avoiding panic set the stage for a pandemic that has infected over two million people and taken more than 130,000 lives.

China 'concealed' coronavirus from West and is trying to evade blame, says ex-MI6 chief

China concealed coronavirus from the West and is 'evading' blame for the pandemic, a former head of MI6 said today.
Sir John Sawers said Beijing was not honest when the disease first surfaced and faced 'anger' from the international community.
He also insisted the WHO faced 'serious questions' for failing to scrutinise China's activities - although he suggested Donald Trump should direct his fury at the country rather than the UN agency.
Sir John Sawers said Beijing was not honest when the disease first surfaced and faced 'anger' from the international community.
Ex-foreign secretary Lord Hague warned the UK cannot be dependent on the Asian superpower for technology after the crisis demonstrated it does not 'play by our rules'
Sir John Sawers (left) said Beijing was not honest when the disease first surfaced and faced 'anger' from the international community.  Ex-foreign secretary Lord Hague (right) warned the UK cannot be dependent on the Asian superpower for technology after the crisis demonstrated it does not 'play by our rules'
The comments came after ex-foreign secretary Lord Hague warned the UK cannot be dependent on the Asian superpower for technology after the crisis demonstrated it does not 'play by our rules'.
The US president launched an extraordinary attack on the 'China-centric' WHO overnight, declaring that he was freezing millions of pounds in funding.
MPs have been demanding a major overhaul of British relations with Beijing, saying its companies should not be allowed to play a part in the new 5G telecoms network.    
Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Sir John said: 'There is deep anger in America at what they see as having been inflicted on us all by China, and China is evading a good deal of responsibility for the origin of the virus, for failing to deal with it initially.
'At the same time we cannot find a way out of this without working with China... The world will not be the same after the virus as it was before.'
It took a confirmed case in Thailand to jolt Beijing into recognising the possible pandemic before them, documents showed. In this March 17 photo, a medical worker looks at CT scans at the Huoshenshan field hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei
It took a confirmed case in Thailand to jolt Beijing into recognising the possible pandemic before them, documents showed. In this March 17 photo, a medical worker looks at CT scans at the Huoshenshan field hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei
Sir John said 'intelligence is about acquiring information which has been concealed from you by other states and other actors'. 
'There was a brief period in December and January when the Chinese were indeed concealing this from the West,' he said. 
Sir John said China increasingly appeared 'completely at odds' with the West.
But he said Mr Trump's decision to target the WHO was not the best response.
'It would be better to hold China responsible for those issues than the WHO... heads of UN agencies are wary of offending one of the major powers. But that doesn't excuse the head of the WHO for failing to stand up for the facts, the data, and making the right demands of China,' he said.
'I think the WHO has got serious questions to answer about its performance, but anger should be directed against China rather than the UN agencies.'  
'This is tremendous,' said Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. 'If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient.'
However, another epidemiologist, Benjamin Cowley at the University of Hong Kong, noted that it may have been a tricky call. If health officials raise the alarm prematurely, it can damage their credibility - 'like crying wolf' - and may cripple their ability to mobilise the public, he said.
The six-day delay by China's leaders in Beijing came on top of almost two weeks during which the National Center for Disease Control did not register any new cases, internal bulletins obtained by the AP confirmed. 
Yet during that time, from January 5 to January 17, hundreds of patients were appearing in hospitals not just in Wuhan - which finally reopened last week - but across the country.
President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, January 20. But by then, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence. Pictured,  a doctor checks the conditions of a patient in Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on February 13
President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day, January 20. But by then, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence. Pictured,  a doctor checks the conditions of a patient in Jinyintan Hospital in Wuhan, China, on February 13
The delay by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time - the beginning of the outbreak. Pictured, medical workers donning full-body protective suits and masks move a person who died from COVID-19 at a hospital in Wuhan, China, on February 16
The delay by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time - the beginning of the outbreak. Pictured, medical workers donning full-body protective suits and masks move a person who died from COVID-19 at a hospital in Wuhan, China, on February 16
China's rigid controls on information, bureaucratic hurdles and a reluctance to send bad news up the chain of command muffled early warnings, experts said. 
Without these internal reports, it took the first case outside China, in Thailand on January 13, to galvanise leaders in Beijing into recognising the possible pandemic before them.
The Chinese government has repeatedly denied suppressing information in the early days, saying it immediately reported the outbreak to the World Health Organization.
'Allegations of a cover-up or lack of transparency in China are groundless,' said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a Thursday press conference.
The documents show that the head of China's National Health Commission, Ma Xiaowei, laid out a grim assessment of the situation in a confidential January 14 teleconference with provincial health officials. 
A memo states that the teleconference was held to convey instructions on the coronavirus from President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Vice Premier Sun Chunlan, but does not specify what those instructions were.

Beijing warns it is 'seriously concerned' about US decision to suspend $500m WHO funding

China has warned it has 'serious concerns' after Donald Trump suspended all US funding to the World Health Organization for what he called 'its role in severely mismanaging the spread of coronavirus'.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for Beijing's foreign ministry, said the global battle against the pandemic is at a 'critical moment' and that suspending funding will 'undermine international cooperation against the epidemic.'
His warning came after President Trump said the US with withhold some $500million in WHO funding while an investigation into its handling of the pandemic is carried out.
President Trump announced Tuesday from the White House Rose Garden (pictured) that he was halting all US funding to the WHO over its response to the coronavirus pandemic
President Trump announced Tuesday from the White House Rose Garden (pictured) that he was halting all US funding to the WHO over its response to the coronavirus pandemic
Trump singled out what he called the WHO's 'dangerous and costly decision' to argue against international travel bans to combat the pandemic.
While praising his own decision to limit travel to and from China on January 31 - a month after the first cases of the disease were reported - Trump added: 'Other nations and regions who followed WHO guidelines and kept their borders open to China, accelerated the pandemic all around the world.
'The decision of other major countries to keep travel open was one of the great tragedies and missed opportunities from the early days. The WHO's attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above lifesaving measures.' 
Zhao Lijian (pictured on April 8), a spokesman for Beijing's foreign ministry, said today that the global battle against the pandemic is at a 'critical moment' and that suspending funding will 'undermine international cooperation against the epidemic'
Zhao Lijian (pictured on April 8), a spokesman for Beijing's foreign ministry, said today that the global battle against the pandemic is at a 'critical moment' and that suspending funding will 'undermine international cooperation against the epidemic'
The US is the largest single contributor to the WHO, paying in some $893million between 2018 and 2019 which made up around 15 per cent of the agency's total budget during that period. 
By comparison the UK - the third-largest contributor to the WHO overall and the second largest among nation states - paid in some $435million between 2018 and 2019.
On Tuesday, Downing Street said it has no intention of following Trump's example and withholding fundsto the WHO, saying it 'has an important role to play in leading the global health response.'
'Coronavirus is a global challenge and it's essential that countries work together to tackle this shared threat,' Boris Johnson's official spokesman added. 
'The epidemic situation is still severe and complex, the most severe challenge since SARS in 2003, and is likely to develop into a major public health event,' the memo cites Ma as saying.
In a faxed statement, the National Health Commission said China had published information on the outbreak in an 'open, transparent, responsible and timely manner,' in accordance with 'important instructions' repeatedly issued by President Xi.
The documents come from an anonymous source in the medical field who did not want to be named for fear of retribution. The AP confirmed the contents with two other sources in public health familiar with the teleconference.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, center, speaks with medical workers at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital in the picture from January 27. The Chinese government has repeatedly denied suppressing information in the early days, saying it immediately reported the outbreak to the WHO
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, center, speaks with medical workers at Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital in the picture from January 27. The Chinese government has repeatedly denied suppressing information in the early days, saying it immediately reported the outbreak to the WHO
China's rigid controls on information, bureaucratic hurdles and a reluctance to send bad news up the chain of command muffled early warnings, experts said. In this February 17 photo, patients infected with the coronavirus take rest at a temporary hospital in Wuhan, China
China's rigid controls on information, bureaucratic hurdles and a reluctance to send bad news up the chain of command muffled early warnings, experts said. In this February 17 photo, patients infected with the coronavirus take rest at a temporary hospital in Wuhan, China
Under a section titled 'sober understanding of the situation,' the memo singled out the case in Thailand, saying that the situation had 'changed significantly' because of the possible spread of the virus abroad.
'All localities must prepare for and respond to a pandemic,' it said.
The National Health Commission distributed a 63-page set of instructions to provincial health officials, obtained by the AP. 
The instructions, marked 'not to be publicly disclosed,' ordered health officials nationwide to identify suspected cases, hospitals to open fever clinics, and doctors and nurses to don protective gear.
Workers in protective gears are pictured catching a giant salamander that was reported to have escaped from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, on January 27
Workers in protective gears are pictured catching a giant salamander that was reported to have escaped from the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, China, on January 27
Travelers wearing face masks are pictured walking with their luggage at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan on January 21. Millions began travelling through Wuhan, a transport hub situated in central China, for Lunar New Year celebrations during the six days of public silence
Travelers wearing face masks are pictured walking with their luggage at Hankou Railway Station in Wuhan on January 21. Millions began travelling through Wuhan, a transport hub situated in central China, for Lunar New Year celebrations during the six days of public silence
In public, however, officials continued to downplay the threat.
'The risk of sustained human-to-human transmission is low,' Li Qun, the head of the China CDC's emergency center, told Chinese state television on January 15.
Under the new orders, on January 16 officials in Wuhan and elsewhere finally got CDC-approved testing kits and a green light to start confirming new cases. 
Across the country, dozens of reported cases then began to surface, in some cases among patients who were infected earlier but had not yet been tested.

China reports fewer coronavirus cases but local infections rise

China reported a decline in new confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the mainland on Wednesday, but there was an increasing number of local transmissions in its far northeast bordering Russia.
China had 46 new confirmed cases on Tuesday compared with 89 a day earlier, according to the National Health Commission. Of the new cases, 36 involved travellers arriving from overseas, compared with 86 a day earlier.
The 10 remaining cases were new locally transmitted infections, with the northeastern Heilongjiang province accounting for eight and the southern Guangdong province two.
A makeshift hospital has been built in Suifenhe in north-eastern China's Heilongjiang province to prevent a second outbreak. The 13-storey field hospital (pictured on April 10) is ready to receive patients after being converted from an office building in six days
A makeshift hospital has been built in Suifenhe in north-eastern China's Heilongjiang province to prevent a second outbreak. The 13-storey field hospital (pictured on April 10) is ready to receive patients after being converted from an office building in six days
Having largely succeeded in stamping out local transmission of the virus, Chinese authorities on guard against a second wave of contagion fear imported cases now pose the greatest danger.
In Beijing, where prevention measures remain stringent, an imported case from the United States was also reported on Tuesday, state television said. The patient started to show symptoms two days after arrival, despite testing negative initially.
Heilongjiang has become a front line in China's fight to keep out imported cases as infected Chinese nationals return overland from Russia. China has closed the border with Russia at the Heilongjiang city of Suifenhe.
New infections involving travellers arriving from Russia have also hit other parts of China such as Inner Mongolia and the financial hub of Shanghai.
As of Tuesday, the total number of confirmed cases in mainland China had reached 82,295.
Authorities said 3,342 people have died from the virus in China.  
On January 20, President Xi issued his first public comments on the virus, saying the outbreak 'must be taken seriously'. A leading Chinese epidemiologist, Zhong Nanshan, announced for the first time that the virus was transmissible from person to person on national television.
The delay may support accusations by U.S. President Donald Trump that the Chinese government´s secrecy held back the world´s response to the virus. However, even the public announcement on January 20 left the U.S. nearly two months to prepare for the pandemic - time that the U.S. squandered.
Some health experts said Beijing took decisive action given the information available to them.
The picture from March 31 shows a child taking a COVID-19 test at a quarantine hotel in Wuhan
The picture from March 31 shows a child taking a COVID-19 test at a quarantine hotel in Wuhan
In this April 15 photo, a woman wearing a mask looks at a globe showing China in Wuhan
In this April 15 photo, a woman wearing a mask looks at a globe showing China in Wuhan
'They may not have said the right thing, but they were doing the right thing,' said Ray Yip, the retired founding head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control's office in China. 'On the 20th, they sounded the alarm for the whole country, which is not an unreasonable delay.'
But others say an earlier warning would have saved lives. If the public had been warned a week earlier to practice social distancing, wear masks and cut back on travel, cases could have been cut by up to two-thirds, one paper later found.
'The earlier you act,' said Los Angeles epidemiologist Zhang, 'the easier you can control the disease.'
China didn't warn the public for SIX KEY DAYS after realising they were facing a coronavirus pandemic, investigation reveals (16 Pics) China didn't warn the public for SIX KEY DAYS after realising they were facing a coronavirus pandemic, investigation reveals (16 Pics) Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 06:57 Rating: 5

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